Mattias Ebrahim, MSc Finance & Accounting 2019-20, student at Imperial College Business School

Programme: MSc Finance & Accounting

Nationality: Norwegian

Undergraduate education: BBA Business Administration, BI Norwegian Business School

Job after Imperial: Private Equity Intern, Deutsche Finance International

About you

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

Prior to my Master’s at Imperial I did multiple internships focused on investment advisory and financial controlling in the Norwegian banking sector. I am also on the board of a private investment firm in Norway.

Why did you decide to study MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial College Business School?

After completing an exchange year in high school in New York, I wanted to spend more time in the fast-paced environment associated with financial hubs. Imperial was my first choice in terms of both location and academic reputation.

Did you receive a scholarship?

I received a small scholarship from the Finance Sector Union of Norway, which was an excellent contributor in terms of living and rent costs.


What aspects of the programme do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy the practical approach of teaching – having multiple lecturers with real-life experience, as well as guest lectures from working practitioners, gives a more realistic approach and motivates me to perform my best.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

Tricky question – but I would say Corporate Finance since it was a very practical class. Dr Emiliano Pagnotta is an extremely good professor and uses examples which are easy to understand.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

On a personal level, it is the friendships and network that I’ve developed with people from all over the globe. From an academic perspective, it’s my increased competence in different fields of corporate finance.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

The demanding workload in terms of quizzes, assignments, and exams. I’ve had to really learn how to manage my time during the programme, as I’ve had to juggle assignments, exams and interviews on an ongoing basis.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

The cohort is extremely diverse, and I’ve had the opportunity to build a global network, in addition to working alongside brilliant individuals, which I believe results in setting higher goals for yourself as an individual.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

Tricky question, but I would say Dr Savitar Sundaresan as his way of teaching derivates was very easy to follow and he explained complex pricing models in a very simple way.


What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

This is somewhat two-sided, on one side, there is academic excellence, and the opportunity to tailor your education to your career goals in terms of electives. On the other side, the reputation of the School, and company events held by prospective employers results in unmatched opportunities in terms of future employment.

Which workshops, events or guest lectures have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?

The most exciting event was held by alumni in Canary Wharf. It was a great experience to hear from successful students about their experience at Imperial and how they were able to land their dream jobs. In addition, through the Private Equity and Venture Capital module we were able to listen to a series of guest speakers, which was magnificent, I highly recommend it!

Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?

There have been multiple gatherings with the different MSc courses, but the best was “A Night at the Museum” at the Natural History Museum, where the entire finance suite was present.

How did you find the unprecedented switch to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

The switch to remote learning has impacted us all a lot, with more online classes over Zoom, as well as group assignments online. However, it is very manageable, and we just have to deal with the current situation as it evolves.


What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

When starting at Imperial, I was set on securing a position in finance in London. I have since managed to secure an internship at a private equity firm, where I am spending my summer.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?

This summer I am starting as a Private Equity Intern at Deutsche Finance International, which operates within European real estate.

How did the services from Careers help you secure employment/in your professional development?

During this year at Imperial I have interviewed for multiple roles within the finance sector. Careers have been an excellent resource from start to finish, from cover letters to interview preparation.

London Location

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?

Definitely. Studying at Imperial with company presentations every other day during the autumn term is amazing. It gives you a great opportunity to network with alumni and prospective employers.

Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?

I ended up living in Paddington, just above Hyde Park. I chose this location as it was within walking distance from the campus, and having Hyde Park nearby is great for both morning runs and social activities.

When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?

In my spare time I enjoy hanging out with friends, going for a run and exploring the city.

If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?

Moving to London is exciting, and if you have the opportunity, I would highly recommend it. That being said, I recommend doing your research on where to live beforehand. You are going to spend a lot of time on campus, so it’s better to live nearby.


Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?

Online information sessions are always good, but it’s also a good idea to go through the pre-study online modules as soon as possible in order to prepare for the beginning term.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

If you are considering applying – just apply, it’s a great opportunity to build a network, learn a lot and kickstart your career. But be aware of the long hours waiting ahead, it is a great experience, but time is limited so it has to be managed effectively.

Programme: MSc Finance & Accounting

Nationality: Norwegian

Undergraduate education: BBA Business Administration, BI Norwegian Business School

Job after Imperial: Private Equity Intern, Deutsche Finance International